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Largest Bitcoin Mining Farms in the World

Dragonmint T1

Largest Bitcoin Mining Farms in the World

Learn About Other Types of Data Centers

Did you there are different types of data centers? Check out more of our data center resources:

Learn How to Increase Data Center Energy Efficiency

The data center industry has paved the way for Bitcoin mining farms to drive sustainability. Check out our best content on increasing data center energy efficiency:

Largest Bitcoin Mining Farms in the World

If all Bitcoin mining operations were a country, they would rank 61st in terms of energy consumption. This is because Bitcoin networks are estimated to contain the computing power equivalent to over 3.7 million supercomputers.

Fundamentally, Bitcoin mining operations and traditional data centers are similar in basic design and operational principles. Power must be brought into the building and distributed to the equipment, air distribution systems cool the equipment, and the building provides protection from outdoor conditions and security threats.

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For many Bitcoin mining operations, the owners, exact locations, and details are not made entirely public. However, some of the largest Bitcoin mining farms in the world include:

Key Differences Between Bitcoin Mining Farms and Traditional Data Centers

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While Bitcoin mining farms and traditional data centers share some similarities, several key differences distinguish the two:

Can Data Centers Pave the Way to a Greener Bitcoin?

Bitcoin mining currently consumes around 110 terawatt-hours per year. This is 0.55% of global energy consumption and is roughly equivalent to the annual energy demand of Malaysia or Sweden.

The current carbon emissions caused by Bitcoin mining is equivalent to 1 million transatlantic flights, or the energy output of the Republic of Ireland, New Zealand, Hungary, or Peru.

The majority of Bitcoin mining is done where energy is abundant and cheap. For example, 65% of the current hashrate is based in China where coal power is cheap, hydro and wind power are plentiful, and locally manufactured mining hardware is cost-effective and convenient to deliver.

Estimates for what percentage of Bitcoin mining uses renewable energy range from 39% to 73%. Also, Bitcoin mining rigs’ short shelf-life is expected to result in a substantial amount of electronic waste.

Bitcoin mining is continuing to grow as an industry. Beowulf Mining expects to deploy 500 megawatts of Bitcoin capacity by 2025. Riot Blockchain projects that its energy consumption will grow from 51 megawatts to 257 megawatts by the end of 2022. BitFarms says it may add as much as 210 megawatts of capacity at an operation in Argentina.

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In the future, the entire Bitcoin network is estimated to consume up to 185 terawatt-hours each year, almost as much as all global data centers consume annually.

This consumed energy would result in 90.2 million metric tons of CO2 emissions, comparable to the carbon footprint of metropolitan London and more than annual emissions related to global gold mining. As such, there are growing sustainability concerns about Bitcoin mining.

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A decade ago, the data center industry faced similar concerns and was able to dramatically increase efficiency and use of renewables to the point where many organizations are now targeting zero carbon emissions. Energy consumption by global data centers grew by just 6% from 2010-2018 while the number of physical servers grew 30% and virtual machines increased by 550%. This was an impressive reversal from the 90% growth in data center energy consumption from 2000-2005.

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Bitcoin miners may need to learn from their traditional counterparts to avoid regulators’ enforcing higher electricity rates, equipment confiscation, additional taxes, or restrictions on cryptocurrencies.




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